Yes Your Bum Does Look Big in Those Black Pants
The Black Myth Exposed!
Fashion magazine after fashion magazine you will hear that essential in every woman’s wardrobe is a pair of black trousers and a Little Black Dress because both these garments are the most flattering and slimming you can find. They are of course aren’t they?
The answer is – only if black is a colour that suits you. How do you know if it suits? Firstly we need to understand a little about the properties of colour. Professor Albert Munsell (a colour pioneer) broke light and colour up into three scales – these for the purposes of personal colour analysis are Value, Undertone and Chroma.
Let’s look at each of these scales individually.
How light or dark the colour is. Is either white added to the colour to make it lighter (added to the true or rainbow version of the colour), or is black added to deepen the colour. If you have fair skin and hair, you will most likely look best in colours that have an element of white added to them (dark colours will seem to drain you of your life and energy). If you’ve naturally got some depth, dark hair or skin, you will find that wearing head to toe light colours will tend to make you look a bit insignificant and will need some depth in the colours you wear.
How warm or cool the colour is. Warm colours are yellow based colours. Cool colours are blue based colours. How do you know which suits you? Some have fairly obvious colouring, red hair or a golden skintone are signs of warmth. Whilst a porcelain skin and either naturally platinum blonde or black hair are indicators of coolness. To do a quick test, take a couple of items of clothing, 1 in fushia, 1 in orange, hold each up to your face and notice which makes you look healthier. If you look washed out (like you need a good nights sleep) in pink, then the warm orange will probably make you look healthier. If the orange makes you look like you’ve a case of jaundice, then you will probably look better in the cool pink. If you found it hard to choose between, you are probably closer to the middle of the warm/cool divide. Try a soft salmon (warm) and a dusky rose (cool) instead and see if either is more obvious to you.
The intensity or brightness of the colour. If you are brighter you will ususally have very clear bright eyes, bright hair such as black, bright blonde or red. You will find when you hold up clear bright colours they light up your face and blend well with your complexion. If you are more muted in your colouring, soft or greyed down colours will be most flattering. The greyer your hair (even underneath that dye), the more likely you will find that softer colours are more flattering for you, as because as we age, we lose pigment from not only our hair, but skin and eyes as well, how whole appearance softens. Colours that are too bright will draw attention to the body of the person who has softer, more muted colouring (and who needs attention to be drawn to your bum?).
So back to black – the properties of black are that it is Cool, Deep and Bright – and if these are not the colour properties that work with your appearance. Also, did you know that black is very ageing – it will cast shadow on your face, make wrinkles and lines look deeper, throw shadows under your eyes and make you look even more tired, and create double chins.
Now why is black considered so slimming?
If light colours advance (make you look bigger) and dark colours recede (make you look smaller) then what is the most slimming colour? According to all those mags and fashion writers – it’s black as that logically seems to be the darkest colour, so it should recede the most. But if bright colours advance and muted (that is greyed down) colours recede then what is black? But black is actually a bright colour as it has no grey element so those ‘slimming’ black trousers will actually draw attention to you bum and make it look bigger, not smaller.
So what colour trousers should you buy to make your bum look smaller? Dark grey or very dark brown if you’ve got cool colouring, and if you’re warm chocolate brown or deep olive green will both be far more slimming than any black pants ever could be for you.
I hope you now realise that ‘black is slimming’ is a myth for the majority of the population and you will no longer be conned by all those magazine articles espousing the black myth.
© Imogen Lamport 2010
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